GUWAHATI, Feb 12 � A week after they were kidnapped, three volunteers of WWF-India are still in the custody of militants, believed to be members of the anti-talk faction of the NDFB. After being kidnapped from the Ultapani area of Manas Tiger Reserve, on February 6, the group of six was shifted to another place from which three female members were released on February 8 evening.
The police are monitoring the situation, and have gathered substantial information about those behind the kidnapping. It has also been mentioned that the hostages and their captors at present are close to the India-Bhutan border.
Pressure is building on the police to rescue the young volunteers while families of the hostages are becoming more apprehensive. However, it is believed that the police are sticking to a strategy to make the release possible without the use of force.
A senior police official told The Assam Tribune that efforts are being made to trace the kidnappers and operations are under way in Chirang and Kokrajhar districts. Army and BSF personnel are also engaged in carrying out combing operations in a few areas.
The police official denied possessing any information linking the kidnapping to a ransom demand. �We are not aware of it, but at the same time would not know if any other party has been approached for money in exchange for releasing the hostages�.
Even as the police are making attempts at securing the safe release of the three men, sources in WWF India said that they are hopeful that the volunteers will return home soon.
Today, around 2.30 pm, one of the hostages was able to call a personnel of WWF-India, and it was learnt that they were being treated well.